What is Avandia(rosiglitazone)?

Rosiglitazone is an oral diabetes medicine that help control blood sugar levels.
Rosiglitazone is for people with type 2 diabetes who do not use daily insulin injections. This medication is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Rosiglitazone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Avandia(rosiglitazone)?

Do not use rosiglitazone if you have type 1 diabetes, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
congestive heart failure or heart disease;
a history of heart attack or stroke;
liver disease; or
eye problems caused by diabetes.
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use rosiglitazone, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Some women using rosiglitazone have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether rosiglitazone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take rosiglitazone without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take rosiglitazone?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Rosiglitazone is usually taken in the morning and evening. You may take the medicine with or without food.
Rosiglitazone is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Your doctor may also recommend other medicines to treat your diabetes.
It is important to use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested, and you may need regular eye exams. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Your medication needs may change if you become sick or injured, if you have a serious infection, or if you have any type of surgery. Your doctor may want you to stop taking rosiglitazone for a short time if any of these situations affect you.
Take care not to let your blood sugar get too low, causing hypoglycemia. You may have hypoglycemia if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress.
Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them:
hunger, headache, confusion, irritability;
drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tremors;
sweating, fast heartbeat;
seizure (convulsions); or
fainting, coma (severe hypoglycemia can be fatal).
Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.
Store rosiglitazone at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. You may have signs of low blood sugar, such as hunger, headache, confusion, irritability, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tremors, sweating, fast heartbeat, seizure (convulsions), fainting, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking rosiglitazone?

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking rosiglitazone. Alcohol lowers blood sugar and may increase the risk of hypoglycemia while you are taking this medicine.

What other drugs will affect rosiglitazone?

You may be more likely to have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you are taking rosiglitazone with other drugs that raise blood sugar. Drugs that can raise blood sugar include:
diuretics (water pills);
steroids (prednisone and others);
phenothiazines (Compazine and others);
thyroid medicine (Synthroid and others);
birth control pills and other hormones;
seizure medicines (Dilantin and others); and
diet pills or medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies.
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you are taking rosiglitazone with other drugs that lower blood sugar. Drugs that can lower blood sugar include:
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol);
sulfa drugs (Bactrim and others);
a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI);
beta-blockers (Tenormin and others); or
probenecid (Benemid).
Some medications may interact with rosiglitazone. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
gemfibrozil (Gemcor); or
rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rimactane).
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to take rosiglitazone, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect rosiglitazone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Possible side effects of Avandia(rosiglitazone)

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using rosiglitazone and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling or rapid weight gain;
  • chest pain, general ill feeling;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • blurred vision;
  • increased thirst or hunger, urinating more than usual; or
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness.

Continue taking this medication and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • sneezing, runny nose, cough or other signs of a cold;
  • headache;
  • gradual weight gain;
  • mild diarrhea; or
  • back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Avandia cure my diabetes?

No. There is no cure for diabetes. Avandia is simply one part of a diabetes-management strategy to help diabetics better cope with this illness.

What’s in Avandia?

The active ingredient in Avandia is rosiglitazone maleate.

How does Avandia work?

Avandia works by improving insulin sensitivity. By improving your body’s insulin sensitivity, the medication can help your body use its natural insulin better, which, in turn, helps to lower blood sugar and keep it under better control.

Are there any drugs I can’t take in combination with Avandia?

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rimactane), gemfibrozil (Gemcor), or a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems, such as nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur, Nitro-Bid, and others), isosorbidedinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil, Sorbitrate), or isosorbidemononitrate (Imdur, ISMO, Monoket).

Can Avandia cause an allergic reactions? If so, what are the signs?

You should seek immediate, emergency medical help if you experience any of the following allergic reactions including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

What happens if I miss a dose of Avandia?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up any missed doses.